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. at the u.n. general assembly, the philippine government sought support for its position. >> translator: we believe in mediation and other forms of third-party dispute settlement, including judicial settlement. >> reporter: the philippines started preparing to bring its case to the international tribunal for the law of the sea. but it failed to win international support. the plan risked further provoking china. the philippine government is not proceeding with it for now. strained relations have started to hurt the philippine economy, so the government is trying to mend fences with china. >> undergoing a transition where hopefully there will be less nationalistic pressures. >> reporter: china has also softened its position. vice foreign minister in charge of asian affairs fu ying visited manila last month. she delivered to aquino a message from president hu jintao that said china values friendly bilateral relations. an expert says china's strained relations with japan over the senkaku islands in the east china sea is behind the apparent shift in its stance towards the philippines. >> there a
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